It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring … except UFC president Dana White, who never seems to take a break from promoting fights! He went on Twitter to announce what we’re taking as a very special present for the fans: Anderson Silva vs Michael Bisping on February 27th in London. And all it will cost you is 10 or so dollars a month to subscribe to UFC Fight Pass.
Fight Pass is the UFC’s equivalent of the WWE Network and features a massive library of past fights, plus access to any events that aren’t being aired in your geographic location. There’s also a number of Fight Pass exclusive events, although they’re usually much smaller in stature than a Silva vs Bisping fight.
So what’s the deal? Why is the UFC being so Santa when they’re typically kinda Scrooge on cards like this? Part of it has to do with them never being able to crack the pay-per-view code for events being aired in different time zones. The UK is 5 hours ahead of America, and for some reason, PPVs starting at 5pm instead of 10pm tend to tank. It’s to the point where the UFC started the main card of an event in Stockholm at 2AM local time so they could broadcast it on FOX in America at 8PM.
That difficulty has typically meant less big fights for international events, as the UFC’s biggest stars make most of their money off a cut of PPV sales. So Anderson Silva fighting on this card is very surprising indeed. Is the UFC testing out how the fight performs to see if Conor McGregor fighting in Ireland again is feasible for their bottom line? Are they relying on a ton of new people signing up for UFC Fight Pass and seeing how awesome it is? Whatever the business reason, it’s a great Christmas present for the fans.